Child homicides by stepfathers: A replication and reassessment of the British evidence

Nobes, Gavin ORCID:, Panagiotaki, Georgia ORCID: and Russell Jonsson, Kenisha (2019) Child homicides by stepfathers: A replication and reassessment of the British evidence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148 (6). pp. 1091-1102. ISSN 0096-3445

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (840kB) | Preview


Daly and Wilson (1994, 2008) reported that rates of fatal assaults of young children by stepfathers are over 100 times those by genetic fathers, and they explain the difference in evolutionary terms. Their study was replicated by comparing updated homicide data and population data from 3 surveys. This indicated that the risk to young stepchildren was approximately 16 times that to genetic children, and stepfathers were twice as likely to kill by beating. However, when we controlled for father’s age, the risk from cohabiting stepfathers was approximately 6 times greater. Above the age of 4 years, stepchildren were at no greater risk than genetic children. Children are at risk from fathers primarily when both are young and they do not live together; stepfathers’ apparent overrepresentation results largely from their relative youth and from many nonresidential perpetrators being labeled stepfathers. Other factors are also influential, but if these include stepparenthood, its impact is considerably less than previous researchers have claimed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: stepfather,child homicide,evolutionary psychology,genetic relatedness,child maltreatment,sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/peace_justice_and_strong_institutions
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2023 16:30
DOI: 10.1037/xge0000492

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item